Chia seed pudding with caramelized apple and crushed grain cookies© GettyImages

5 Reasons Why You Need To Start Eating Chia Seeds Daily

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Sonal Nerurkar

From Alia Bhatt’s pudding to Tom Brady’s smoothie, Chia Seeds are having a superstar moment. The health benefits of this tiny ingredient cover a long list that belies its small size — it’s surprising to discover how much goodness is packed into that non-descript little kernel. In fact, scientists at Oregon State University have recently published a paper on how chia seeds may be a solution to the world’s hunger and nutrition crisis!

The edible seed of a flowering plant in the mint family, originally from Mexico and Guatemala, this superfood was once a staple of the Aztec diet.

Widely grown today, chia seeds are a must-have addition to your meals, eaten whole sprinkled over salads, cereals, yogurt and baked goods or mixed with water, juice or milk to add thickness to a dish. Given that they have a subtle flavour, with no distinct taste of their own, the main appeal of chia seeds lies in their health benefits. As the saying goes, “From little seeds grow mighty trees!” and these tiny dynamos sure have the power to nurture us into becoming big and strong.

5 Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. Promotes Gut Health

A single-ounce (28gm) serving of chia seeds contains 138 calories; by weight they are 6% water, 46% carbohydrates, 34% fat and 19% protein. While these numbers may not speak to you, this surely will – naturally free of gluten and cholesterol, over 80% of the carb content of chia seeds is in the form of fiber. In fact, just one serving contains a significant portion of daily recommended fiber intake! Their high fiber content ensures that chia seeds promote digestive health, control blood sugar levels, support heart and gut health, and promote weight management.

Chia seed pudding with berries©GettyImages

2. Good For Your Heart

Chia seeds are also a great source of good fats; they are the best known plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, even ahead of flaxseeds, which supports heart and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride (bad cholesterol) levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, while at the same time raising “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lowering your blood pressure. Given experts recommend reducing cardiovascular risk through diet rather than pills, be sure to include these super seeds in your next meal.

3. Strengthens Your Immune System

Chia seeds are packed with minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, all essential for maintaining strong bones. They’re also rich in zinc, a crucial mineral that gained attention during the COVID-19 pandemic for its role in supporting the immune system.

4. Great Protein Option For Vegetarians

As one of the few plant-based complete sources of protein (containing all nine essential amino acids), chia seeds are particularly important for vegetarians seeking to meet their protein needs.

5. Helps Prevent Cancer And Combat Aging

Supercharged with antioxidants and polyphenols, including caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, rosmarinic acid and others, it can help prevent cell damage, possess anti-inflammatory properties, combat aging and may reduce the risk of certain diseases, including cancer.

Now that you’re aware of the health benefits of these small yet powerful warriors, it’s time to make them a part of your daily diet!